Lectionary Text and Prayer for Haiti: Mark 8:31-38
You have no idea how God works.
Oh God our God how excellent is your name in all the earth. Even though our heart, our mind and our soul embrace your love, mercy and grace, we confess that sometimes we can’t comprehend your existence in the lives of our suffering sisters and brothers in Haiti. We are so caught up in the devastation of their lives that we lose our connection with You—You who gave us your spirit. The devastation of poverty consumes us. The devastation of being social outcast emotionally strangles us. The devastation of being under political leaders that have tunnel vision toward the wealthy citizens and a hard heart for those in need of basic living necessities leaves us voiceless. While we know you hear our Haitian brothers and sisters heartfelt cries, sometimes we feel like the disciples wavering and wondering what to believe.
However, when it’s all said and done, we know that You, God, have it all worked out. So God, help us to understand how You work. Therefore, we ask that You heal our mind so we can think according to your plan for peace and justice. Heal our eyes so we can see your work and fully participate in your transforming power. Heal our hearts so we can offer your love to others. Hold our sisters and brothers in Haiti tight and kiss them on their forehead so they can feel your presence as You work according to your plan to reconstruct Haiti.
Thank you God through the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Haiti
In Mark 8:31-33, Jesus gives the disciples a preview of events that will take place according to God’s plan as well as a methodical orientation of how God works. Peter was totally against the plan and the disciples were confused. Living in Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, one cannot help but feel like Peter or the disciples. However, just like Peter and the disciples began to reflect on their experiences while following Jesus, they began to understand how God works. God works through relationships and partnerships.
For example, through the relationship and partnership between CONASPEH, the Disciples of Christ (DOC) and United Church of Christ (UCC) doing mission work through Global Ministries (GM) has supported CONASPEH with starting a cooperative call L’UNICEC (United National for Integration and Cooperation for the Churches of the Community). The purpose of L’UNICEC is to provide basic economics (loans) to people that have lost their jobs after the earthquake. The loan creates jobs for the community by providing an opportunity to start a small business, such as a street vending business to sell food and/or other products needed in their community. So far, they have one hundred twenty including five disabled participants that have received a loan. Because of relationship and partnership, CONASPEH opened two senior housing buildings to help the elderly members in the communities of Tabbare and Jacmel. Because of relationship and partnership, CONASPEH was able to support an orphanage through a production project that raise and sell animals in order to help fund a school for the orphans. Because of relationship and partnership, with DOC and UCC through Global Ministries, CONASPEH has an elementary, high school, nursing and theology school. Because of relationship and partnership, the doors of CONASPEH are open for every child regardless of their financial status. And because of relationship and partnership, CONASPEH also is able to provide some of their terminal students (graduating seniors) with scholarships to attend college in Haiti.
You’ve heard that God works in mysterious ways, well now we know that God works through relationships and partnerships. Oh how good it is to have an idea of how God works!
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Jeanette Salley)
Multimedia Resources for Haiti:
- Video interview with Jeanette Salley before the start of her ministry in Haiti: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/jeanette-salley.html
- Video interview with Katie Pickens before the start of her ministry in Haiti: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/haiti-pickens.html
- Katie Pickens’ blog: http://katiesgoingtohaiti.blogspot.com/
- Jeanette Salley’s blog: http://haitijs.blogspot.com/
Global Ministries International Partners in Haiti:
- National Spiritual Council of Haitian Churches (CONASPEH) is composed of 7,000 affiliated grassroots churches, approximately 3,000 neighborhood schools, plus the Karen School of Nursing and the Andrew Theological Seminary. An important part of their mission is to provide a more unified political and social voice for Protestant churches in the country.
- House of Hope is a project that works in favor of children who live in domestic slavery
- Hospice St. Joseph is dedicated to walking with the poor who can’t afford health care or emergency surgery.
- Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice
- Service Chrétien D'Haiti
- Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti
- Christian Center Integral Development: Sant Kretyen pou Devlopman Entegre (SKDE)
For more information on Haiti: http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/haiti/
Global Ministries Missionaries in Haiti:
- Katie Pickens, a member of Woodmont Christian Church, Nashville, Tennessee, will serve a one year term (with the possibility of extension) as a Long-Term Volunteer with the National Spiritual Council of Churches of Haiti (CONASPEH) beginning January 1, 2012. She will work as a consultant and co-administrator of the Ferdinand Garcia Transformational Center of CONASPEH.
- Jeanette Salley, a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Richmond, Virginia, serves with the National Spiritual Council of Churches in Haiti (CONASPEH) as an assistant for disaster preparation and response, as well as a teacher at St. Andrew Seminary.